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Maria Antoinette Hawkins Cole
Birth: Aug. 1, 1922
Boston
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Jul. 10, 2012
Boca Raton
Palm Beach County
Florida, USA

Jazz singer. Widow of Nat "King" Cole, the mother of Natalie Cole. A singer in Duke Ellington's band in the mid-1940s. Cole had a long singing career, performing with greats such as Count Basie and Fletcher Henderson. At a young age she and a sister moved to North Carolina to live with an aunt soon after her mother died in childbirth. She took voice and piano lessons as a child, and after graduating in 1938 from the Palmer Memorial Institute, she returned to Boston and sang with a jazz orchestra. She soon moved to New York to pursue a music career with jazz great Benny Carter's band. In 1943, she married Spurgeon Ellington, a Tuskegee Airmen flyer during World War II. He was killed in Georgia two years later during a routine postwar training flight. Cole began soloing at New York's Club Zanzibar in 1946. She eventually met Nat "King" Cole there, and the two were married in Harlem by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in 1948. The couple had five children, two of which they adopted. The couple spent the 1950s traveling throughout Europe performing and recording songs for Capitol Records. After her husband's death in 1965, Cole created the Cole Cancer Foundation and was active in charity work. She also produced James Baldwin's play Amen Corner on Broadway in 1965, a project that her husband had encouraged before his death. In 1971 she published a book about her husband, Nat King Cole: An Intimate Biography. She married writer and producer Gary DeVore in 1969. They divorced in 1978. She worked for the National Kidney Foundation, the Urban League and the Cardiac Research Foundation, Sloane Kettering Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Nat King Cole Memorial Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Center and Nat King Cole Generation Hope Inc., founded by her daughters, Timolin and Casey. Cole passed away from cancer at a Boca Raton hospice surrounded by her family in July of 2012. (bio by: Curtis Jackson) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Spurgeon Neal Ellington (1919 - 1945)
  Nat King Cole (1919 - 1965)
 
 Children:
  Carole Cole (1944 - 2009)*
  Nat Kelly Cole (1959 - 1995)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Glendale
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Sanct of Heritage, FM, Lot 0, Space 20369
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Jul 11, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93463053
Maria Antoinette <i>Hawkins</i> Cole
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Maria Antoinette <i>Hawkins</i> Cole
Added by: Lisa Burks
 
Maria Antoinette <i>Hawkins</i> Cole
Added by: A.J. Marik
 
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SING YOUR HEARTS DELIGHT.
- M
 Added: Oct. 31, 2014

- Pamela Howlett
 Added: Aug. 14, 2014
~Peace~
- Nancy VonBokern Wigginton
 Added: Aug. 1, 2014
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